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8 Stages of Writing and Publishing Blog Content

by | Mar 13, 2024 | Content, SEO

What to Expect about Writing and Publishing Blog Content

First comes love, and then comes… time to write. 

It’s easy to fall in love with an idea or outline, but to get it across the finish line? Actually writing the article and hitting publish? Well, that’s harder. 

See, the dopamine rush from finding an idea to write about—especially one that will eventually help you generate more traffic—well, there’s nothing quite like it. 

But it’s not enough just to think about the idea and write the post. After you write your article, you have to optimize it, and then publish it. 

Then, after that you have to amplify it across channels so it reaches people. Hopefully, those people will read your content, find value, and share it with their network.

Between writing, publishing, and amplifying, you also need to find images or media, optimize for SEO, create unique slugs, and ensure that the content is all ADA compliant (for example, by adding ALT text). 

Don’t worry. We’ll discuss each stage of the writing process and include tips on how to make each stage easier. 

Now that you’ve set up your station, created a writing schedule, and know how to get started, here are the stages of the writing process for developing blog and article content. 

What’s covered in this article:

  • Project management tools for tracking your writing progress
  • The 8 stages of writing and publishing blogs

Project Management for Tracking Progress

Firstly, it can’t be stated enough how important tracking your progress in a blog management tracking system will help you in the long run. 

A blog tracker might not be a must-have at first. Still, somewhere around the 10th or 12th article, you’ll want something you can easily reference when updating your content strategy or ensuring you’re not overlapping too much between different articles. 

Keeping a project tracker also helps you manage which stage each blog is in, especially if you start to add guest bloggers or want to implement more advanced interlinking exercises (which I highly recommend).

Top 3 recommendations for tracking blog content stages:

Airtable

Airtable is lightning-fast and has advanced tags, calendar features, assignments, and more. It’s my number one preferred way to manage content.

Trello

Trello is a close second to Airtable, but where it shines is in its ability to organize and manage additional writers and team members like no other project management system. Plus, it’s ingeniously simple to use and a pure delight once you know what you’re doing. 

Google sheets

A classic Google sheet is a great option if you don’t want to take too much time learning a new tool to produce content. It’s highly effective in managing the content process. However, it’s probably not the best choice once you get past 30 articles and additional writers or managers on your team. 

All three options are great for tracking progress and communication, especially once you get into a weekly grove. 

The 8 Stages of SEO Blog Management

If this is your first time writing articles for content marketing, it’s great to think about your blogs in terms of stages. As you enter each stage, you can mark your article as such. 

Let’s touch on what the stage is and tips for making each stage seamless.

1. Research

Research is where you study your target audience to find out what their interests or pain points are. Research asks, where can you use data to inform your ideas? And how will you produce content that will help your reader while also creating an opportunity for your website to be found in search results? 

A great place to start with research is by asking current clients and customers what pain points they have. Often, customer interviews and feedback will give you a variety of ideas you hadn’t thought about in the first place. 

You can also consider what your readers might be curious about before, during, and after working with you. If you can direct your customers to a supporting piece of information, that’s a great way to provide value for free, establish trust, and nurture customers to pay for your products or services. 

Lastly, you’ll want to consider which keywords might work best in your articles. For example, this article might benefit from optimizing for something like “SEO writing” or “how to write a blog post.”

2. Idea

Your idea is your blog article’s point, argument, goal, or overall theme. Your idea should fulfill the search intent of your target keywords and add value beyond what everyone else is saying about the same topic. 

A great way to brainstorm ideas is to review your research and customer feedback to come up with a topic or subtopic. You can also review your past social media content to see if any of those ideas could be elaborated on further in the form of a blog or article. 

Next, you’ll want to find relevant keywords to help you in the outline stage. To cover a topic in full, consider all the points you need to make about your article, but leave out anything that could be its own separate article. You want to address one topic at a time, versus trying to answer everything at once. 

3. Outline

Your outline is the blueprint of your article and will help you stay on track as you develop your content. You can always go back to your article later and change the headlines to better reflect the final version of your blog topic and subject matter. 

The best way to create an original outline is to take your idea and write down all the subtopics you think should be included to help your reader achieve their ultimate goal. Then, you can use a tool like Frase to see what Google favors as the top search results. 

You can take some headlines from the top search results to see where you might be missing a sub-topic, details, or other information (like frequently asked questions). In some cases, you should also check SERP features like images, People Also Ask, and Featured Snippets to get an idea of what Google considers helpful to people. 

You’ll take all your research, available information, and your unique spin to create an original outline that positions you as the best choice for your ideal reader. 

4. Draft

Your draft is the first version of your article and can be either completely finished or 90% of the way done. It is important to get as much of your article done as possible to consider it a draft. 

The draft is often where I start to see threads in reasoning start to unravel. Where the outline stage might feel strong and confident, the draft is where details start to emerge, and you have to work harder to stay on course. 

If you can, hire an editor or ask a trusted friend for feedback to determine whether your content flows well. Don’t be afraid to cut out sections that worked in the outline but don’t work in the practical sense. 

Drafts are meant to be fluid and aren’t the final version by nature. 

5. Optimize

Now, you’ll optimize your post to address any questions you might have missed in the draft stage. Make sure to add any keywords, links, or additional context your readers will find helpful and that double as a way for Google to understand how and who you help. 

This is also where you can add your preferred URL slug, add your recommended page titles and descriptions, triple-check all your links, and make sure your headers are optimized correctly.

6. Final Review

Next, you’ll do a final review and finish up your blog. I always recommend stepping away from content for a few hours or days. However, if you leave it too long, you might completely forget some of the points you want to tie in later. 

At this stage, consider which assets, like images or media, you need to develop to demonstrate your points or provide visual support. 

Do a final check for grammar, spelling, and helpfulness. You’ll also want to ensure all your supporting evidence is reputable and properly cited, especially if you’re writing about health topics or topics considered Your-Money-Your-Life (YMYL) topics. 

Sometimes it’s good to involve legal feedback or peer review at this stage. You can never be sure you won’t step in the mud with an overly opinionated article or highly sensitive topic, so consider your audience and possible feedback carefully. 

7. Publish

Finally, publish your content on your blog or website. You’ll want to add supporting images, videos, or other media to help convey any lessons or points you make. 

Remember, publishing might be the last step, but it takes time. Set aside 30 minutes to an hour to fully publish an article and optimize it for search. It’s the final push-through, so keep your head in the game and don’t lose stamina now. 

8. Amplify with a Hook

Now that your article is published, it’s time to amplify it by sharing it on social media, in your emails, and talking about it with your clients and customers. 

The best way to grab your reader’s attention is with a “hook.” You can also use these hooks throughout your website content to keep each section and page interesting. 

Read Writing Great Hooks. 

Content that people want to read

Ultimately, writing great content involves learning about your customers and figuring out what their motivations, desires, and problems are. Paired with SEO research, that content can reach more people and help you structure your content so that you address a topic in full. 

Not sure what to write about or if its possible to show up in search results? Get in touch with Socialhart for a Power Hour, Sprint, or ongoing VIP SEO support

Go back to Tips for Generating Ideas and Writing a Blog Outline

Read Writing Great Hooks. 

 

Written by Crystal Ortiz

Crystal Ortiz is the Founder of Socialhart. She's a Marketing and SEO expert with 8 years of experience in digital marketing. She's worked with local businesses, founders, marketing executives, and global brands across many industries, both in-house and agency-side. She's taught digital marketing programs at several universities, including NC State and University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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